Whether you’ve read the manga, watched the 1993 anime adaptation and/or have just recently watched the Hollywood rendition, Alita: Battle Angel, odds are you were taken in by the postapocalyptic backdrops, characters, and overall feel of the epic sci-fi story of Battle Angel Alita.
Well, if you’ve ever wished you could experience the rough life in Iron City and bet on Motorball races, the Alita Experience is where you need to be! Currently, and for a limited time, you can obtain a Passport to Iron City in three US cities—Los Angeles, CA; New York, NY; and Austin, TX—and not only see and touch the world of Alita but compete with others to come out on top!
Passport to Iron City
|Location|| Los Angeles, CA: 1025 E. 16 Street, Los Angeles, CA 90021|
New York, NY: 470 Driggs Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Austin, TX: 1901 East 51st Street, Stage 3, Austin, TX 78723
|Cost of Admission||$40.00 USD|
|Hours of Operation|| Weekdays: 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm|
Weekends: 1:00 pm - 9:00 pm
The experience is by appointment, which you set up when ordering tickets.
The Alita Experience
Passport to Iron City is an engaging and excitingly challenging 2-hour experience played in groups of six. We had the opportunity to visit the Austin, TX Iron City, which is located in Austin Studios in Stage 3. (Fun fact: Austin Studios is where Rooster Teeth works from too!).
Upon arriving, you scan in with your ticket and proceed to fill out your data and have your picture taken for your ID tag which you must have at all times for identification, and more importantly, collecting points!
After becoming full-fledged citizens of Iron City, all participants enter the Kansas Bar, where all the hunter-warriors hang out. Each table is marked with a team color so the teams have a place to meet and strategize while enjoying exclusive beers like the Seafarer Kolsch and—this writer’s favorite—the Badlands Pomegranate Lime Gose. There are also non-alcoholic drinks for those who don’t drink or are underage so everyone gets to enjoy!
There were two of us Honey Bees in a team with a family of four and even with strangers, the games were fun and though it can be a bit hard to coordinate with people you don’t know, it all worked out great in the end! Just remember to stick together and trust your teammates. That said, we’re sure having a full team of six people who all know each other well would definitely give your team an edge.
Once it’s almost time to go, Bender—a more seasoned hunter-warrior—came out to give us a briefing: Stay together, exploit your team’s strengths, and engage and explore as much as you can! Once everyone has a plan, all six teams are released into the raunchy, busy streets of Iron City! There are several areas to visit and only one team can be in each at a time, so the first one is picked out of a hat. Our very own Fonzy got super lucky and got us first dibs on the Scrapyard! A great place to earn a ton of points.
Don’t expect any delicate Disney-like characters to come take you by the hand and greet you with a smile, though. This is Iron City, where everyone’s looking for something and it’s not to be your friend. Or is it? It’s hard to tell in these rough streets... The City’s gritty residents will challenge you and they won’t pull any punches!—though they will sometimes drop hints if you seem to be missing some clear clues, which is nice.
We also visited Dr. Chiren’s lab to get our enhancement assessments, where each team member is challenged according to their strengths; completing each challenge earns points for the whole team and each player as well. Dr. Chiren seemed nicer than most of the other residents, but it also felt like there was something up his sleeve…
Another area involved bounty hunting and identifying wanted criminals—Pro tip: have as many people watching the screens as possible! And then there is a very challenging but fun music audition, the marketplace—make sure to split your team wisely between the two markets—, and of course, Motorball stadium where you can earn points for your team and win collectible cards by answering Alita: Battle Angel trivia. Later, when the stadium opens for the races, you can bet all those hard-earned points on the strongest Motorball contender!
We did pretty well with our team! We stayed in the top 4 most of the time and ended in 3rd place, which was not bad at all! At the end, you are also emailed your Factory assessment, which tells you what role you are fit for within The Factory. (I got Factory Farmer...)
Once Motorball ends, everyone exits to the gift shop area which has all kinds of collectible goodies for sale, plus some cyber enhancements and photo-op areas to take pictures with!
Some of the items for sale are a set of hot Iron City hot sauces ranging from habanero to ghost pepper, manga books, art books, figures, and more.
And in the photo-op area, which is a typical Iron City street with cafes and tables and such, there are cybernetic limb enhancements, eye and ear enhancements and even a cyber-heart you can wear for your a commemorative photo!
Passport to Iron City is the ultimate Alita Experience! You can hang out at the Kansas Bar and get to know your fellow teammates, and then you get around an hour to complete all the challenges. It’s non-stop excitement and the replicas of Iron City are amazing! Not to mention the citizens. It really feels as though you are a part of Alita’s world, doing your best to survive and beat out the rest in Iron City.
And don’t worry if you haven’t seen the movie, it’s a super fun experience nonetheless. You’ll just have to pay more attention to clues and trivia facts. In fact, the family we teamed up with hadn’t seen it and we still placed in the top 3!
There are only a couple of days left to visit your nearest Iron City, but keep checking; maybe they’ll extend it!